Fish and seafood supplier Royal Greenland has told its customers to expect an imminent global shortage of cold water prawns.
Randall Jennings, managing director of Royal Greenland in the UK, said: "This is an industry-wide problem affecting all suppliers. It's a unique situation, but it can be attributed to a number of factors.
"Over the past three years, the Canadian and Greenlandic quota for cold water prawns has declined by 95,000 tonnes, equal to 33% of the total annual catch.
"At the same time, the global demand for cooked and peeled cold water prawns has gone up. This is due to low supply and the high price of warm water prawns, where farmed king and tiger varieties have been plagued with early mortality syndrome.
"Consequently, all stocks in the market are very low and prices are increasing rapidly. Over the past six weeks, raw material prices have increased by more than 40% and it looks as if they will continue to rise."
Royal Greenland is now unable to accept any additional orders or guarantee prices and has asked for its customers' understanding.
It is expected that cold water prawns will reach a ceiling price before Christmas. Royal Greenland is advising chefs and caterers to factor in price increases on any prawn dishes featured on their menus.